Health Implications of Long-term Exposure to Electrosmog

Health Implications of Long-term Exposure to Electrosmog

Karl Hecht

Effects of Wireless Communication Technologies A Brochure Series of the Competence Initiative for the Protection of Humanity, the Environment and Democracy e.V. Brochure 6

As a physician, if I wish to try a new therapeutic agent or a new diagnostic device on my patients, I have to meet strict legal requirements for compliance. Studies must be carried out in a certain sequence, following specified standards. This is the right thing to do and reasonable. We would have no reason for complaint if manufacturers and distributors of technical devices, which may be damaging to human health and the environment, would have to meet the same standards for the protection of the same—which is not happening at this time. Over the last century, a rapid technical development has occurred that—as is usually asserted—serves human well-being and provides jobs. The downsides of these successes and advancements, however, are kept silent; for an increasing number of people, the new technical achievements have become a burden. Let us recall a few facts. On a daily basis, harmful chemical and physical agents affect humans and the environment: chemicals as environmental pollutants [Servan-Schreiber 2008]; radionuclides (e.g. from nuclear power plants); noise [Maschke et al. 2003]; ionizing and nonionizing radiation [Becker 1994]. Furthermore, such disasters as Chernobyl and Fukushima can occur at another place at any time. New diseases are emerging. The incidence of known disease keeps increasing, sometimes dramatically so: electromagnetic hypersensitivity, multiple chemical sensitivity, noise sensitivity, tinnitus and auditory processing disorders, depression, sleeplessness, helplessness syndrome with serious consequences of distress, and many others. Yet business and industry mostly ignore any possible connections between these harmful factors and these newly emerging diseases. Even lawmakers, who often are advised by lobbies from both sectors, ignore and downplay the risks that have already been known for quite some time. In addition, even in the event of a scandal being actually exposed, there will almost always follow a message that says that all is well and safe soon thereafter. This is what happened in 2011, for example, when uncontrolled feed with dioxincontaining fats had been given to animals whose meat and eggs were then contaminated with dioxin—a toxin whose effect is thousand times worse than potassium cyanide [Klinisches Wörterbuch Pschyrembel 2007]. The dealing with the risks of nonthermal nonionizing radiation emitted by modern wireless communication technologies is also rather unclear. The fact that humans cannot hear, see, smell, taste, or perceive this type of radiation at all promotes confusion. Therefore, adverse health effects, especially those on the functions of the central nervous system, are ignored and downplayed; repeated claims of safety replace implementing long overdue preventive measures. Since only the thermal effects of electromagnetic fields can be detected with human senses, a dogma widely held by “experts” for the past 50 years claims that only these thermal effects exist or at least are the only ones that can do harm. The truth is that harmful nonthermal effects caused by radio waves in humans have been known since the 1980s: sleep disorders, neurasthenia (also brain fatigue), headaches, and others [Schliephake 1932]. The electromagnetic radiation emanating from radar, television, communications systems, microwave ovens, industrial heat-treatment systems, medical diathermy units, and many other sources permeate the modern Forty years ago, physicians and scientists pressured the U.S. government to issue a report on the effects of electromagnetic fields [Brodeur 1977]. In December 1971, this report was released under the title Program for Control of Electromagnetic Pollution of the Environment. The report was written by experts appointed by the U.S. Office of Telecommunications Policy (OTP) in 1968. This expert report revealed the extent of an environmental risk associated with the increasing use of microwaves in technical communication technologies and in the industry that has hardly been known before. A few quotes from the report will speak for themselves.

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